Malaysia is divided into six main regions, namely the Northern Region, Central Region, Southern Region, East Coast Sabah and Sarawak; each of these regions have their own specific characteristics and cultural habits. We have described the regions in more detail below to give you a better idea of what they are like.
The northern region comprises of Perlis and Kedah -the two northernmost states- followed by Penang and Perak. Kedah and Perlis have extensive rice production and make up the majority of the rice farming regions in Malaysia, which is why they have been nicknamed the "Rice Bowl of Malaysia".
The hub of the nation is located in the Central region; it is here that the government buildings and offices are situated. The central region consists of the state of Selangor, where the capital city Kuala Lumpur resides, as well as the State of Negeri Sembilan. Most events, activities, meetings and other forms of entertainment can be found here. Negeri Sembilan is a small state filled with a rural and natural landscape. The state has some unique traditions which also impact the local architecture.
Selangor is a developing state.. The capital city Kuala Lumpur has developed exponentially; over the last decade it transformed into an important cosmopolitan city with a bustling business district known as "The Golden Triangle". Kuala Lumpur offers a combination of old charm and modern comfort.
The southern side of Peninsular Malaysia consists of the states Melaka and Johor. These states have a rich history and cultural heritage. Due to their location near Singapore and adjacent to the sea, it makes these states a perfect place for trading.
History shows us that many important Western traders and conquerors made the South of Malaysia their home long ago; in Melaka the cultural heritage and architecture shows evidence of this. The remnants of ruined buildings and fortresses in Melaka speak of the Straits Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and British settlements there over centuries.
Johor is full of green, natural landscapes and has huge stretches of fruits and oil plantations and some of the nicest beaches in Malaysia. Many residents of Johor have jobs in Singapore which is only a 5 minute bus or train journey from Johor Bahru to Singapore.
The East Coast of Malaysia consists of the states of Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu. In particular, Kelantan and Terengganu are very different from the other states in Malaysia since both these states have a very strong traditional Malay culture mixed with Thai elements which is evident in the everyday living habits of the locals.
Moreover the east coast has the most breathtaking beaches and islands including Palau Perhentian, Pulau Redang and Pulau Kapas which offer great opportunities for diving and snorkeling. The states are famous for its fishing activities, agriculture and cottage industries. The east coast also has the beach where the giant leatherback turtles lay their eggs during the mating season.
This part of Malaysia is filled with acres of tropical rainforests, including Taman Negara which is the country's national forest reserve, rare flora and fauna, leisure islands and the highest mountain on Peninsular Malaysia. The popular tourist attraction Genting Highlands is also situated here and is the home to the only legalized casino in the country. Together with an indoor and outdoor theme park, this a perfect place for a relaxing or exciting holiday.
Another famous destination of this part of Malaysia is the Cameron Highlands district which is located in the north-western corner of the state of Pahang. This area still contains much of the charm of an English village; it is full of fresh air and has an abundance of vegetable farms and picturesque tea plantations.
The regions of Sabah and Sarawak are separated from Peninsular Malaysia by the sea.
These two states are considered as "East Malaysia" and touch the northwest section of Borneo. The states have large undeveloped areas filled with rainforests, rivers, caves, and islands with a great variety of flora and fauna, including the Orang Utan and the Raffiesia, the world's largest flower.
Sabah is also home to Southeast Asia's highest mountain, Mount Kinabalu. Overall Sabah and Sarawak are a mixture of old and new, modern and cultural, urban and rural.